Innenwald Workshop

The Innenwald Workshop

During the Inner Forest Sanctuary Exhibition at Minnano Gallery in Tokyo Ueno, I had the idea of creating an Art Workshop for the people in my local community in Tokyo.

Background Story

The Inner Forest Sanctuary exhibition took place during the corona virus pandemic, a few months after the state of emergency in Tokyo had been lifted. Many people hadn’t left the city in months and were still not able to experience nearby nature, since there was a risk involved with traveling and taking public transport.

Innenwald Workshop work table with art supplies
The table is set for the Innenwald Workshop
Innenwald aroma essential oil blends for Indoor Forest Bathing
Indoor Forest Bathing

Out of these difficulties, at first the idea of Indoor Forest Bathing was born. For the Inner Forest Sanctuary exhibition, I had already created 3 aroma essential oil blends that generated a forest aroma experience indoors. The 3 aroma blends were used in rotation in an aroma diffuser, to give the entire gallery space an aromatic forest atmosphere. I had also build an art installation with paintings form the Waldluft series, that reflected the forest atmosphere visually and in an abstract way.

Nature Inspiration

Now I wanted to create a workshop, where people could experience Indoor Forest Bathing and through that, relax and (re-)discover their own creativity. The idea of an intuitive painting workshop, inspired by Japanese nature, was born: the Innenwald Workshop.

To make the Indoor Forest Bathing experience even more immersive for the workshop participants, I also created a sound bath – from nature sounds that I had recorded over the past few years in various places in Japan.

Sound recording in the primeval forest in Nara
Sound Bath

These sounds included birds from the primeval forest in Nara, as well as rain and thunderstorms from the city. The audio recordings were mixed with relaxing soundscape compositions that I produced on my computer and iPad. The final sound bath was playing in the background during the workshops.

The Meaning Of Innenwald

Innenwald (Inner Forest) is a combination of the German words Innenwelt (Inner World) and Wald (Forest). I created this word, to describe the concept of bringing the forest indoors. At the same time, it can also mean, to discover a forest – of thoughts, feelings and memories perhaps – inside yourself.

Workshop participants are painting
Workshop participants are painting

The Workshop

With the help of both the sound bath and the aroma blends, I have guided workshop participants to explore colors, shapes and compositions intuitively on the paper, and developed an intuitive painting method which I call the Innenwald Method.

Update: You can learn more about the Innenwald Method© on This Page.

The first Innenwald Workshop in early September was a success and due to popular demand, we decided to continue the workshops on a weekly basis until the end of the exhibition in mid October. 

Handmade stamps and wooden print blocks for the Innenwald Workshop
Handmade stamps and wooden print blocks
Watercolor painting with handmade stamp, painted by workshop participant
Watercolor painting with handmade stamp, painted by workshop participant
Supporting The Local Community

In order to support the local community and make the workshop available to as many people as possible, all workshops during the Inner Forest Sanctuary exhibition were free of charge for the participants. During these workshops, participants used art supplies and tools from my Pop-Up Studio, as well as my handmade forest stamps and print blocks.

Update: During one of the Innenwald Workshops, we worked with a videographer, who has documented the experience.


The Innenwald Workshops are continuing! Please see the This Page for details and upcoming events. Please note that in order to keep offering these workshops to as many people as possible, I am now charging a participation fee that covers the material costs and other expenses. Thank you for your understanding and support.

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